Last week, God’s Not Dead 2 hit the nation’s movie screens. The sequel to the 2014 sleeper hit tells the story of Grace Wesley, a high school teacher dragged into court for talking about Jesus in her classroom. The movie imagines a hostile government bent on rooting out any trace of religion in public life. As the prosecuting attorney threatens, “We’re going to prove once and for all that God is dead.” The timing of this film’s release may have been intentional.
"We had to be willing to do a clear-eyed assessment of our financial situation—and to risk our old identity for the sake of a renewed mission."
Schools rely on tuition and are reluctant to turn students away. But if debt keeps students from following their call, schools will have failed at their mission.
The cost of tuition has has gone up 1,200 percent in 30 years. The odd thing is that when a person takes full advantage of the educational system and earn a Ph.D., then the very same universities that have been trying to convince us that education is worth that much inflation, turns around and tells the Ph.D. that their hard work is worth about . . . 1-3K per class for an adjunct teaching position. So the value of education is being cut by the very same people who are trying to sell us an education.
It would be a shame if the crisis in seminary education didn’t lead to fresh thinking about how the church calls, trains and places leaders.
You’re asking small churches to give money to seminaries, some of which have massive endowments. Do you know how many secretaries some of these seminaries have? Their secretaries have secretaries. And they keep adding vice presidents. The weirdest thing about the addition of all the management? The student body keeps dwindling. Many of these seminaries have residential student bodies that are the same size of our small church.
Our intellectual architecture is being dismantled. But it is also being reassembled. I use the architecture metaphor because I believe that what we are creating will be in place for many decades to come.